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Pop Quiz, Monday with Krista Bordner

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Krista Bordner

00 Krista Bordner 5.26.15[8108]
Photo credit: Krista Bordner
What is your job role?
I’m the President of HYPR for the US

Tell us about your company?
We’re on a mission to make PR accessible to ALL entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses, regardless of skill set or budget. And we’re accomplishing this goal with HYPR, our DIY PR SaaS platform that helps small businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, brands and agencies handle their PR. HYPR recently launched in the US, and our easy-to-use platform enables users to craft their pitches, draft press releases, generate tailored media lists (with 20k+ up-to-date media contacts!), and send directly from the platform. Users can also track who they’ve reached out to and conduct follow-up via the HYPR platform.

We also offer a ‘done for you’ service, which allocates a PR professional to execute effective PR campaigns for our clients, training packages, live workshops, and accelerator workshops. Alongside this, we offer live office hours, an active Facebook community where businesses can connect, and several resources – including templates, checklists, eBooks and how-to guides.

I’m proud of HYPR because we’re proving that anyone can do their PR with the right skill set, and a limited budget is no longer a barrier with our platform.

What do you love most about your job?
I love helping people, and I love PR and communication – so what better job than helping people learn to run their PR campaigns successfully? Also, I appreciate the freedom to make my own hours, control my working environments, and (as a busy mom), I enjoy the flexibility it gives me. I work very hard, but I also have a good life with my family as I build this thriving business. There’s also something special about building something, about creating something that helps others. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that HYPR is truly helping people.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My family motivates me to keep pushing the envelope of innovation in PR – when the going gets tough, I remind myself how lucky I am to have my family as my biggest fans in continuing to grow HYPR. I am also fortunate to live in Silicon Valley, which is the heartbeat of tech, startups, entrepreneurship, and innovation. There is so much inspiration here, and it further motivates me to build a service that caters to these amazing companies and people.

I’m driven to build a strong business that helps people, and that brings about positive change. I believe in HYPR 100 percent. It fills a wide gap in the industry by serving those with limited marketing budgets – the software works and is super easy to use, so getting it out there and seeing it grow is a huge motivator for me!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We are currently a team of 5, and it is awesome. We all work remotely and come together regularly via Zoom or Skype. For me, it’s inspiring to see how we collaborate over a distance – some of us are in the US, and a few of us are in, and between, the US and Australia. It’s also inspiring (for all of us) when the hard work we have put into the platform pays off. In fact, there’s nothing more satisfying than working as a team to deliver results that delight our subscribers.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Seeing as we all work remotely, we don’t currently undertake any initiatives to make work more fun or interesting – but, as we grow it’s something I can definitely see happening in the future!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Juggling everything! There are so many moving parts to owning and running your own company that sometimes it feels like I’m chasing my tail trying to get everything done, but the pay-off when a project comes together makes it all worthwhile. Plus, I also work well with a bit of chaos (one of the reasons I love being an entrepreneur). Sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to focus my time, but our great team has made it easier for me to shift my focus without feeling like I’m neglecting something important. It can also be lonely as an entrepreneur, but expanding our HYPR community is bridging that gap. I meet so many amazing people across a variety of industries and geographies – I LOVE that.

And the area I’m working on now is practicing self-care. Because I run my own business, no one is telling me that it’s time to go home, sign off, close my laptop, etc. If I’m not careful, I work way too much, and at the expense of my family. It’s hard to be present with my family if I work from sunup to sundown and well into sundown – 80 hour weeks are not good for anyone. So that’s a challenge I’m working through now. The latest change I made is to put my device away for three hours in the evening and to dedicate that time only to my family. So far, it’s working. I do have to watch myself because it is easy to slip back into the nonstop work cycle, but it’s not a sustainable way to operate. Self-care is critical! And I’m a work in progress.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
On entrepreneurship: It’s okay to change your mind, and it’s okay to evolve your business as it grows. Don’t wait to launch until everything is perfect. Because it will never be perfect. My biggest hurdle has been overcoming my expectations for perfection. I’ve learned over time to get out of my own way and to take BIG and scary leaps to grow my business. And the same goes for PR.

On getting started in PR: Much earlier in my career, I was very insecure about reaching out to the media. What if they don’t like my story? What if I’m annoying them? What if they hang up on me or don’t respond to my email? What I learned is that the media need us just as much as we need them. If you approach your PR with integrity and are genuine when you reach out to the media, they’ll be receptive. If you wait for everything to be perfect, you’ll probably never start. Go for it, try your hardest, maintain good intentions, remain resilient, and it will pay off.

On media outreach: I learned early in my career to do my research before reaching out to a journalist. My lesson – learned the hard way: I was fresh out of college, working for a tech company in PR, and was junior in my PR career. We were hosting a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) event for kids and I was managing the PR. I called a local journalist who focused on science, thinking he’d be excited to attend. He informed me that he did not believe in STEM and had discussed his views against it for quite some time. Of course, I was embarrassed because what was obvious in our discussion is that I didn’t take the time to understand his beat or topics of interest really. I focused on the fact that he was local and had a science-related radio program and, based on that knowledge alone, I assumed he’d be interested. He was really nice about it, and I was humble about it. We ended up having a great conversation. And now I always take the time to research my media contacts before hitting send on a pitch. I don’t like receiving spam, and I’m careful not to send spam.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Keep your spirits up! PR as an industry can be challenging, especially when you’re just finding your feet. It’s a constant challenge as it’s always changing – but that’s also the beauty – no two working days are the same! Remember that the media wants to hear from you if you have a story to tell. Reach out, pitch the media that fits with your story. Anyone can do it, and it has even more credibility when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

Remember that it’s not about you. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s an important note to take. When you pitch a journalist, try to think about how you can help them, rather than how they can help you. It will go a long way. Journalists are busy and are expected to do a lot more with a lot less these days. The more you can help them tell a great story, the better! Have fun and happy pitching!
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.handleyourpr.com

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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